EU Referendum: What the People Have to Say


On June 23rd, the UK is voting to decide whether we stay in the EU or if we leave. Everyone seems to have strong opinions on the matter; we’ve heard politicians from both sides claim a lot of things! Things which are often contradictory and things that are not quite true, and quite frankly it’s all getting a bit confusing!

So since we’ve heard a lot about what politicians and celebrities think about it all, we thought it would be interesting, and hopefully helpful to those still deciding, to find out the views of the public. So we asked people from across the country if they are voting in, out, or if they’re undecided and why

Please note: With so much false information being thrown around, it was inevitable that not everyone’s answers would be 100% factual. If a statement is highlighted in red it means we have investigated the claim and found it to be false, If a statement is highlighted orange it means the claim is speculation. If a statement is highlighted green then it is fully factual! References have been provided to back up the truth and to correct the false claims.

We’d also like to make it clear that not all views here are representative of Peace Off.


 We are voting to stay because…

“People are so blinded by racism that they are failing to see the reality of what leaving the EU might actually mean. Small pockets of angry, dissatisfied, uneducated people are spreading false facts and vitriol quicker than wildfire and people are just soaking it up and taking it as gospel.

Brexit will not only affect you financially (yes, you. You are not immune to financial difficulty) but it could also prove a massive problem for women.

The EU has done a lot for working women from protecting pregnant workers to helping us achieve something closer to equal pay. According to Harriet Harman ‘“EU muscle” had been the key to forcing through a series of reforms’ and without that muscle who knows what will happen.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not too keen on the idea of being getting paid less than my male colleagues for doing the same job and I definitely don’t look forward to the possibility of being fired for getting pregnant. I’m too lazy to have to fight all over again for my rights. If push came to shove I’d get out there and protest with the rest off them, but I’d much rather just sit and eat pizza. Don’t make me give up the dream. Vote to stay.

Read some statistics on what the EU has done for you here.

– Sophie, Achievement Support Assistant, 22

Sovereignty would be reduced if we left as we would have to follow all EU law to continue to allow Free trade, however we would have no power over the creation of those laws.

– Stephen, Student, 20

“As well as the obvious economic reasons, I believe we should stay in the EU because having parents and grandparents that lived through the terrifying ordeal of World War II, I feel being in the EU is helping to bring Europe closer. We are building stronger relationships with our fellow European countries and I want my children and grandchildren to live in a world where we can embrace our European neighbours rather than fear them.”

– Susan, 48

“Why do I want to stay in? After all this arguing it’s actually quite a hard thing to sum up. I made my mind up a long time ago, and now it is quite confusing to know what or who to believe. I spoke to my Nan about this recently, and she said she was voting to leave the EU. Why? Because she didn’t want any more immigrants coming into ‘our country’. This is probably the most common argument, ‘we want our country back’. Firstly, EU migrants bring a lot more to this country than they take. And secondly, it’s unlikely that it will actually make a difference if we leave. In order to maintain our economy the ‘British government would allow free immigration from the EU to continue. Furthermore, we may have to sign up to free migration in order to have full access to the single market’.  Doesn’t quite sound like what Brexit promises does it?”

– Hilly Olivia, Student and Baker, 19

“I will be voting to stay in the EU due to the company I am employed by being a European based company, so trading would be better maintained if the UK stays in the EU. If the UK leaves the EU the government would have to renegotiate our countries trade agreements, and the new ones may not be as financially beneficial as our present agreements. Also, I feel many voters are voting to leave the EU for the wrong reasons, through ignorance, as the immigration/refugee situation would not be improved or changed by leaving the EU.”

– Neil, Paper Mill Team Leader, 50

“To be completely frank, staying in the EU is the only thing preventing the Conservative government from scrapping our human rights act and bringing in their Snoopers Charter, both of which they promised in their manifesto last summer. The combination of these two will effectively make it law that the police will be able to arrest anyone who speaks against the government online and they would not have the right to legal aid. They do not hide this fact and both their proposed rights act and snooper charter are available to be read online. It was pressure from the EU that brought us marriage equality, it is EU laws that mean you are entitled to sick pay and annual holidays, it is EU regulations that mean if you suffer an injury at work that was not your fault you have the right to take your employer to court, it is EU peace talks that have kept Europe in balance since the second world war. To vote out is to vote away your rights and anyone who votes out will have the blood of people on their hands.”

– Badger Hill, 22

“I feel European as I speak at least four languages. I train language teachers and my students benefit from Erasmus schemes with joint agreements on assessment and we have reaped lots of benefits from the ability to travel freely. Thanks to Schengen, I can travel freely across borders. Having seen the security risks at Calais, I fear that if we leave, the French will follow with their threat to stop our French side border controls. I think we belong together as Europe, we are stronger together, we have seen so much regeneration from European funding and we pay in so much less than other countries. I think we are richer for having free fluid working permissions amongst Europe. The culture is important to me and so are things like the European Time Directive which protects us all. I have not seen a good argument put forward by the leave campaign. I hate Michael Gove, Boris Johnson et al and think they are incompetent. They are making up figures and using racism to drum up scare stories. Migrants pay taxes, nobody who is not a taxpayer from abroad can use the nhs for treatment.”

– Joanne, Language Teacher Trainer, 44

“Most of the funding for science comes from the EU. It’s a pretty selfish reason but if I want to keep progressing up the degree chain, it’s imperative there’s funding or I’ll end up being crippled with debt studying abroad (hard to do with a 2 year old too) or not getting past a BSc.”

– Kimberley, Mature Student, 27

“A better Europe is the first microscopic step towards a world society. I do not believe in religions or borders, just freedom. Leaving would be a step backwards into the dark ages. Obviously improvements need to be made, but that can only happen from within.”

– Nigel, 50

“1) 1 in 10 British jobs are directly linked to membership of the Europeans union’s single market

2) The EU buys over 50% of UK exports.

3) Outside the EU Britain would have to re-negotiate trade deals alone

4) British families have lower mobile phone roaming charges, lower credit card fees, cheaper flights and compensation when flights are delayed or cancelled. These cannot be achieved by Britain alone

4) Through EU standards, Britain has achieved significant environmental improvements to the air, beaches and water sources.

5) 4 million British people live abroad in the EU.

6) The EU helped secure peace deals with warring western nations

7) Equal pay for men and women is enshrined in EU law, as are bans on discrimination by age, race or sexual orientation. This benefits Britain and British people who live in other EU countries.


9) No other European country has broken away from the EU before…largely because there is no need. The Future is uncertain either way, but if we leave and it turns out for the worst, there is no going back.”

– Kat, 28

We are voting to leave because…

When you look at the EU it is clear that it has had far more failures than success, the crisis in Greece is a fine example of EU failure. A major problem with the EU is that it fails to listen to the people it claims to represent, many countries have voted ‘no’ to the EU’s centralisation but the EU either ignores the vote or makes the country vote again until it says ‘yes’. In 2008 Ireland voted against the Lisbon Treaty and they were made to vote again, 61% of the population of Greece voted against a bailout in 2015 but the EU forced them to take one. The European Court of Auditors has also failed to sign off the EU budget for the last 20 years [X] so we have no idea how our money is being spent at all. However we do know that there are over 10,000 EU officials paid more than David Cameron. The free movement of people is also a major flaw in the EU as it takes away most of the government’s powers to control immigration into the country; while it is clear that migrants help the economy, there is a very real danger that our public service are becoming too stretched. While we are building houses for our growing population we are not building the schools and hospitals that we need – in Barnsley most primary schools are now at 40 a class and this is depriving children of an effective education system. If we could put a clear cap on immigration each year then we could better plan our investment in these public services.”

– Simon, Student,  20

“I’m a retired Nurse and my husband is a retired Police Officer so we have seen enough in life to make this decision. I lived in France for 8 years and still have a home there – believe me, the French people would love a referendum. It’s not Europe I have a problem with, it’s the European Commission and The European Courts.”

– Janice, retired nurse

“I think I’m voting out, reason being we can’t look into the future but we can surely see what has happened since joining! Greece is a wreck of a country and I see no help from the EU there. Unemployment is going up and housing can’t accommodate. The law of the country is weak as we have to listen to the EU. The UK has been hit with more VAT etc. We are a free export/import country so we will still trade. Time to stand on our own unless the government grows a backbone and change things.”

– Kira, 39

I believe the EU takes more from us than we get back. We pay more than any other country does for membership. We have no say over law in our own country. We can’t stop EU immigration into our country and those immigrants are sucking up our resources. I would finally like us to have our own say and our own laws. The EU only want us to stay because it will crumble slowly without our money. The NHS is at breaking point so we need to put more money into it and without having to pay for membership this would loosen up some funds. Our local farmers will finally be able to start thriving again and we can enjoy our own local produce like we used to. I have so many reasons to vote out so I won’t list them all because I could go on for quite some time!”

– Viki, 28

“I’m voting out. Definitely. Just simply because we can stand on our own feet, we need OUR country back! We can invest the money we’re losing each week back in to our NHS. My town has already felt the brunt of the lost money as we’ve had our local A&E closed. Don’t let it become much worse!”

– Leanne, 26

“The country is at breaking point and if we stay in we will have so many migrants that the NHS and other great things Britain has to offer just won’t be able to continue. Britain has so many rules placed on it by the EU that from a farming point of view we are much better off out of it.

– Alison, 28

“Unfortunately I’m too young to vote but I strongly hope we leave. The NHS is at breaking point as it is, and if immigration continues at its current rate taxes will rise further and further. Education and public services will not be able to cope. Also the country will be better off financially as we pay billions to stay in the EU and the euro is declining.”

– Annabel, Student, 15

We’re undecided because…

“Rolling up to the EU referendum I still haven’t decided in or out! It’s important that I vote but the thought of wading through the mountain of politics makes me cringe. I really want an impartial and complete list of pros and cons for either side of the vote. I want to make up my own mind and not go by what I hear!”

– Louis, Engineer, 21

“I don’t know because nobody seems to be giving actual facts and information, everything is biased in one way no matter what website you look at, there are no unbiased pros and cons lists in existence.”

– Anonymous

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